How to determine whether the KMS server is working

Many customers may have questions as to how to confirm that KMS is working properly prior to reaching the 25 client threshold.


To determine whether the KMS machine and the client machine are working, you should be able to view the event logs on each machine.


1)      On the client machine in the application event logs.

Look for event iDS 12288, 12289 as well as 12290. (the 12288 and 12289 should be in pairs: client query-kms response)

The client machines will report 12288 which is the request to the KMS server machine.

The 12289 is the response back from the KMS server


l          If there are no 12289s, look into the first field (before the comma) for the error code.

l          Also note the name of the targeted KMS machine in the 3rd field of the 1228 – usually helpful to figure out if it was misaddressed.


2)  On the KMS server side, you should look for event 12290 messages.  These are in their own event logs.  These are created for each activation and renewal requests from each client. 

So the client sends a 12288 to the server, the server generates a 12290 on its own machine, and the client records a 12289 as the response back from the KMS server.


3)  Plus you can use "slmgr.vbs -dli" to show the number of clients that have attempted contact to the KMS server, but this won't be a method of checking or validating that the KMS service will activate the 26th and future clients. Currently there is no way to verify that validation will take place until the 26th client hits the KMS Server outside of looking at the COUNT number when running that VBS Script. If there's a count there - then all's well with KMS.

Comments (6)
  1. Jeff25 says:

    The information you can pull from the KMS server to find our what clients have succeeded and have failed SUKS.

  2. IT says:

    It really seems like KMS was an afterthought and not planned out or executed well at all. Its horrible…I should just use MAK keys and save myself the headache.

  3. Mark says:

    The KMS looks indeed like unplanned, no default monitoring util which server did a activate request at all. The call MS. They informed me to use psloglist from sysinternals. So i did, you only get the longlist in your command line window.

    Then they advised me to use the System Center Essentials pack….. It's a horrible way of getting better in the cloud, looks like MS don't want businesses to grow bigger with their products.

    Called again, in the meanwhile found this post. Used the event id's from this post and i got a list. Now export it.

    But it's far, far, far away from perfect and not able to represent this list to my manager in this type of lay-out. So another sucks effect @ MS. Thanks

  4. Troy says:

    KMS is a mess. It looks like it’s ‘designed’, and I use that term very loosely, to generate support calls to increase revenues.

    I swear it would be simpler and possibly more cost effective to just pirate Microsoft software. I’m so tired of being punished by Microsoft for being a legal, licensed, shop. Cumbersome license keys, terrible volume licensing website and now to have KMS forced
    on us with a terrible interface that relies on a VB script.
    There is a special place in Hell for whoever is responsible for this …I’m looking at you Ballmer & Sinofsky

  5. Troy says:

    Microsoft …let me help you with this. The KMS UI should have a place to enter the authorization number and license agreement number.

    On the back end it would check against your sh*t volume licensing website for licenses tied to those numbers.

    It should then display these in a window (hence the name Windows in case you’ve forgotten the origin of your horribly unoriginal name).

    The Admin should then be able to click on a license, activate it and begin using the service. Very simple.

    Then the UI would need a reporting area that would give information about license activations.

    Try to avoid your current trend of scrolling to the right to see more info …that sucks and everyone worth a damn at UI design knows this …try to find some of those people.

    There should also be a place for errors or you can continue to use the Windows Error logs. Anything is better than the current VB Script crap. Jesus …it should at least be Powershell if you’re not going to use a GUI. Do you even know what you are doing at
    this point?

    PS …if any new UI you create require 2-5 more clicks more than the previous version of your product you are doing it wrong.

    Another PS …Come up with better names that are more memorable. (Example: you came up with Windows Server Update Services shorted to WSUS which at best looks like WUUS at first glance may have been called this in JR High’s bad. How about just Updates,
    msUpdates, Update Services ….you don’t have to stick your stupid OS brand on everything …it creates confusion and dilutes your brand.
    Example #2: Pepsi doesn’t call Mountain Dew – Pepsi Mountain Dew Tasty Beverage

    Thank you and please reduce the suckage to at least the level of suckage of Windows Vista/Server 2008 or better

  6. Jon says:

    See, if this was the open source (in this case Open Use) community, somebody would step up and build a central, singular interface for the licensing process or the software would die a natural, forgotten death. We don’t have that luxury with Microsoft.
    So may I suggest these improvements:

    – Add KMS Office and Windows Host management to VAMT, including hosts at remote offices! Like how WSUS connects to remote locations.
    – Allow activation for ALL MS products from a single interface, even older versions.
    – Provide Software Metering tools to check license compliance in an easy way. (how many we purchased, vs. how many we are using…)

    Ultimately users balance results with ease of use, and slmgr.vbs just isn’t cutting it. Right now MS is asking us to go WAY out of our way to license products we can easily replace with OpenOffice and Ubuntu, which do not require licensing.

    If they don’t make it easier, they will die a natural, very public death as their competitors do what MS does, only easier and cheaper.

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